Laying down new tracks for Vancouver’s Olympic Line streetcar

My trek to work often takes me through the various areas in and around False Creek, and one day while heading down to catch the bus, my usual shortcut of hopping over the trolley car tracks surprised me when there weren’t any tracks to be seen.

Missing trolly tracks

It didn’t take me too long to recall why they were missing, and I know it wasn’t all of the Canada Line’s fault. More so, it’s the Olympics, and Paul Hillsdon mentioned this on his blog awhile ago.

It was announced today that Bombardier Transportation will bring two modern, Flexity Outlook streetcars on loan from Brussels, Belgium to Vancouver for use during the 2010 Olympics. The streetcar demonstration project will run between January 21 to March 21, 2010. The official name of the project is The Olympic Line – Vancouver’s 2010 Streetcar. [paulhillsdon.com]

The Downtown Streetcar Project is the big picture, and this demonstration is only the beginning phase of an ambitious plan to connect Granville Island, Gastown, and Stanley Park with this new transportation system.

Missing tracks

As someone who is a big fan of public transportation, I like the idea of this project. However, it remains to be seen as to how quickly something like this can be fully implemented and operational to the extent that it will help the congestion problems currently plaguing Vancouver. It would be pretty awesome to take something like this to work from the West End, but the Canada Line is already something I’m waiting for at the top of my wish list in terms of daily commutes.

2 Comments

  1. Jordan says:

    Like you John, I’m a big fan of transit, and I too long for the opening of the much anticipated Canada line. As it is now, I celebrate when a lane re-opens on Cambie, and we’re still a long way from opening day.

    I like this streetcar project too. When we look at Portland, streetcars alleviated their traffic considerably rather than hindering it, as many naysayers have suggested streetcars in Vancouver (again) might.

    For what it’s worth, if my vote has anything to say about it, we’ll spend our tax dollars on more streetcars and trolley buses (and operators!) before we break ground on another ambitious Skytrain route (to UBC).

    Mind you, I’ll be taking the Canada Line, so I’m all good ;)

  2. What I think would be almost a better plan is to get the UBC extension of the SkyTrain going at the same time of the major portions of the streetcar projects. I know that’s a huge statement in terms of cost and building time, but the final outcome of the infrastructure that would be in place would be tremendous to this city.

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